Monday, January 4, 2010

Review: The Garlic Zoom by Chef'n

Anyone who prepares a lot of world food at home knows you have to chop a lot of garlic. Sometimes, when I'm not pressed for time, I love to chop garlic. I like seeing how small or uniform I can get each piece. Other times though, my prep time can be better spent elsewhere. That's why I decided to go against all my instincts and give the Garlic Zoom by Chef'n a shot. As I've mentioned in previous articles, I'm not a gadget guy, but I saw the Garlic Zoom and it made sense to me so I decided to give it a try. At ten dollars and change it was a low risk venture.

The Garlic Zoom seems a simple and practical enough device. You fill a small chamber with a few peeled garlic cloves, close it and push it along a flat surface where the wheels drive a few small blades that chop the garlic to your satisfaction.

Truth be told, it does just that - KIND OF. The problem with the Garlic Zoom should have been apparent to me when I saw it. It's just too small and unfortunately, that effects its use in two ways:

A.) It is really only capable of chopping 2-3 cloves of garlic at the same time. For a serious home chef, this is just too small an amount. Sure, you can chop and then empty it and then fill it and chop again, but that's not convenient. It's even less convenient when you realize that:

B.) Because it is so small, it's a little difficult to easily empty the chopped garlic. Chopped garlic because of its oils and moisture content tends to be a little sticky. When using the Garlic Zoom to chop only 3 cloves of garlic, you'll quickly realize that a good deal of the chopped garlic tends to want to cling to the blades and inside of the Garlic Zoom and removing it becomes a real inconvenience.

In my home I do 95% of the cooking, but there are days when my wife cooks. She is not a fan of chopping anything if she can avoid it. For that reason I will keep the Garlic Zoom. I'm sure she will prefer it to chopping the small amounts of garlic she may use.

I'd like to see a version that could hold up to ten cloves of garlic though. I think the added capacity and larger size could make it a valuable addition to the home kitchen. I'd be willing to give it a try based on the design of the unfortunately small Garlic Zoom.

So, while the concept seems good, I cannot recommend the Chef'n Garlic Zoom at this time. Though my wife does seem to like it.